Summer 2006

SOCS 635
New England and Empire: The Roots of U.S. Imperialism

Karamcheti,Indira

06/26/2006 - 08/10/2006
Tuesday & Thursday 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Science Tower 137

In our study of New England, we will study works of history and literature to focus on the role this region played in the transformation of the United States from an erstwhile colony to a dominant world power. Major forces effecting this transformation have their roots in this area. Mercantile entrepreneurship, the drive of commerce and trade, such as the slave trade, the ivory trade, and the West and East Indies (China and India) trade, opened the larger world to merchants and consumers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The sense of religious duty created universities that produced the missionaries who went to far corners of the world and brought the world back home. The vaunted mechanical and technological ingenuity of the Yankee peddler, seen in a grandiose version in the eponymous inventor of the famous Colt revolver, backed territorial expansion and insinuated New England culture into those newly acquired territories. A developing sense of racial entitlement and racial confidence legitimated expansion, into Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, and what we would now call cultural imperialism. And the domestic, women-centered "parlor" culture of New England both displayed the wealth of empire and hid its existence.

We will read: Thomas Layton's The Voyage of the Frolic, Louisa May Alcott's Eight Cousins, Frances Hodgson Burnett's Little Lord Fauntleroy, Maryse Conde's I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Reginald Horsman's Race and Manifest Destiny, and Francis Jenning's The Creation of America. In addition, we will read and discuss selected essays, to be purchased in a photocopied packet

The class will view one movie, The Mosquito Coast, and go on a field trip on Saturday, July 29 to the Peabody-Essex Maritime Museum in Salem, Mass. Students are expected to drive themselves to the museum; if enough students request it, the GLSP will provide van transportation at an additional cost.

This course may, by petition, count toward the humanities concentration.


Indira Karamcheti B.A., M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara) is associate professor of English and American Studies. Her teaching and research interests include postcolonial literature and theory, the literature of the South Asian diaspora, and the writing of ethnic and racial minorities in the U.S. She has written on such authors as Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Simone Schwarz-Bart, and Aime Cesaire. Click here for more information about Indira Karamcheti and click here for more information about her work.


ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Louisa May Alcott, EIGHT COUSINS (Puffin), Paperback

Louisa May Alcott, ROSE IN BLOOM (Puffin), Paperback

Frances Hodgson Burnett, LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY (Puffin), Paperback

John Demos, THE UNREDEEMED CAPTIVE (Knopf), Paperback

Anne Farrow, COMPLICITY: HOW THE NORTH PROMOTED, PROLONGED, AND PROFITED FROM SLAVERY (Bantam Books), Paperback

Niall Ferguson, THE RISE AND FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE (Penguin Group), Paperback

W. Travis Hanes, THE OPIUM WARS: THE ADDICTION OF ONE EMPIRE AND THE CORRUPTION OF ANOTHER (Sourcebooks), Paperback

Reginald Horsman, RACE AND MANIFEST DESTINY: THE ORIGINS OF AMERICAN RACIAL ANGLO-SAXONISM (Harvard University Press), Paperback

READING MATERIALS AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323

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